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Report: McLellan, Richardson among ‘initial candidates’ for Sabres gig

San Jose Sharks v Detroit Red Wings

Todd McLellan

NHLI via Getty Images

The Buffalo Sabres’ coaching search isn’t expected to ramp up until next week, but the Associated Press reports that Todd McLellan and Luke Richardson are among the “initial candidates” for the gig.

That same report indicates that Mike Babcock would be a likely candidate, as well, if he decides to leave Detroit. (One could probably insert Babcock’s name into any team’s wish list, though, right?)

It sounds like Sabres owner Terry Pegula has some other fish to fry in regards to the NFL Draft, as he’s also the owner of the Buffalo Bills. Once the smoke clears on that, the AP reports that things might really get cooking.

One factor might just be familiarity after Sabres GM Tim Murray cited less-than-ideal comfort with former Sabres head coach Ted Nolan, according to the AP:

In firing Nolan, Murray said he had difficulty establishing a good working relationship with the former coach over the past year. Murray called it a priority to have a comfort level when it comes to hiring his next coach.

Richardson certainly fits that category, while Babcock and Murray have ties that go back to Anaheim in 2002. Babcock coached the Ducks from 2002-04, when Murray served as the team’s player personnel director.

McLellan would be an interesting choice, as he’d go from a weird semi-rebuild in San Jose to a full-fledged one in Buffalo. Just imagine how often he’d make these faces with the Sabres, considering that he was grimacing so often with a fairly successful Sharks squad:

Todd McLellan

San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan appears at a news conference at the Sharks locker room, Thursday, May 26, 2011, in San Jose, Calif. The Sharks lost to the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in double overtime to lose in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference finals. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)


Todd McLellan

San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan answers questions during a news conference in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, April 29, 2009, the after day the Anaheim Ducks knocked them out of the first-round of the NHL hockey playoffs. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)


That could be kind of fun.